Expert Review and Proposals for Measurement of Health Inequalities in the European Union
Spinakis A, Anastasiou G, Panousis V, Spiliopoulos K, Palaiologou S, Yfantopoulos J
Full Report. (2011) European Commission
Directorate General for Health and Consumers. Luxembourg. ISBN 978-92-79-18528-1
Full Report available online PDF file [202p.] at: http://bit.ly/n9mSVI
Summary PDF file [39p.] at: http://bit.ly/pLATPK
"…..Monitoring of inequalities in health is an important public health task. Interest in health inequalities among EU countries and their regions as well as among the various social clusters in the EU population is growing.
The search for the best appropriate "summary measure" of health inequality that can be observed individually or in terms of groups of individuals, is a task that occupies a lot the researchers involved in the fields of inequality research.
Lately in the EU, it has been recognized that a more focused effort is required. It is more natural to suggest and construct methodologies or indices that will be suitable for assessing trends in terms of mortality, morbidity and also self-perceived health. The selection of an appropriate indicator or an appropriate measurement methodology for health inequality across the EU-27 countries is a demanding task. Each available indicator has advantages and disadvantages.
Simple indicators are usually comprehensive but may not have some specific desirable characteristics. Other indicators are more technical and difficult to understand, apply and/or interpret, but can assist more in explaining significant components of the concept "health inequality". Complex indicators can also be very useful in the decomposition of inequality. Based on the above, it is reasonable to state that one main goal in the study of health inequalities is to,
- propose appropriate measurement methods in the form of indicators that "estimate" and "capture" the exact level of inequality in a population
(here the EU population).
The other very important goal of this study is to monitor the variation of health inequalities in all levels of analysis
(e.g. social groups, regions, individuals) through time. Thus, perform a trend analysis.
The main objective was to contribute in the area of "Monitoring Health Inequalities in the EU", by combining the best practices in health inequalities measurement with the most reliable data that can be used to calculate these measures.
The specific tasks of the project were:
- the review and analysis of the existing work done in the measurement of health inequalities in the EU.
- the review and analysis of the existing and planned data sets available across the EU, with an assessment of their suitability for the purposes of the analysis.
2. Measurement of Health & Health inequalities in the EU – Conceptual framework
2.1 Health data - Health Indicators
2.2 What is Health Inequality?
2.3 Measurement of health inequality in the EU – A historical review
2.4 Inequality Indicators - Definitions & Classifications
3. Most suitable summary measures for monitoring health inequalities in the EU
3.1 Which indicators do we need? - What do we need to measure?
3.2 Inequalities in mortality across the EU area, regions and time
3.2.1 Proposed Indicators
3.2.2 Inequalities in the EU - Analysis of trends
3.3 Inequalities in Perceived Health Status and other Self Assessed Morbidity by SES groups in the EU
3.3.1 Proposed Indicators
3.3.2 Inequalities in the EU - Analysis of trends
3.4 Inequalities in Disability & Activity Limitations by SES groups in the EU
4. Concluding Remarks
ANNEX I: Index of Tables & Figures
ANNEX II: Tables
ANNEX III: Figures
ANNEX IV: Conceptual Framework to Measurement and Monitoring Health Inequalities
ANNEX V: Classification of Health Inequalities Measurement Techniques
ANNEX VI: Preliminary Evaluation of health Inequality Indicators & Desirable Properties
ANNEX VII: Health Inequalities Measurement by Social Groups - Core Social Variables
ANNEX VIII: EU Survey Tools & Questions
* * *
This message from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO/WHO, is part of an effort to disseminate
information Related to: Equity; Health inequality; Socioeconomic inequality in health; Socioeconomic
health differentials; Gender; Violence; Poverty; Health Economics; Health Legislation; Ethnicity; Ethics;
Information Technology - Virtual libraries; Research & Science issues. [DD/ KMC Area]
"Materials provided in this electronic list are provided "as is". Unless expressly stated otherwise, the findings
and interpretations included in the Materials are those of the authors and not necessarily of The Pan American
Health Organization PAHO/WHO or its country members".
Equity List - Archives - Join/remove: http://listserv.paho.org/Archives/equidad.html
IMPORTANT: This transmission is for use by the intended
recipient and it may contain privileged, proprietary or
confidential information. If you are not the intended
recipient or a person responsible for delivering this
transmission to the intended recipient, you may not
disclose, copy or distribute this transmission or take
any action in reliance on it. If you received this transmission
in error, please dispose of and delete this transmission.